Save your Sinking House
LESLIE: Sally in Georgia has got a water problem at her house. It’s causing her house to sink. What’s going on?SALLY: Actually, the water is streaming (ph) underneath my house and every time it rains you can tell the yard starts to fill and then we look under the house and it’s full. And the house is – well, it was built in the 30s; so it’s up on bricks and we could tell that there were cracks in the bricks starting to appear. And we had someone come in and take measurements and apparently the floor is all out of level. And so the house is sinking and no one will come in and fix the house from sinking until we solve the water problem. So we’re trying to figure out how to get the water from underneath the house.TOM: Does the water only accumulate after heavy rainstorms or does it seem to be there all the time?SALLY: Any time it rains. It doesn’t have to be a heavy rain; it can be a light rain; any amount of water.TOM: OK, well then we need to trace how the water is getting from the sky to under your house and typically that happens because it’s not being managed properly either right at the house or around the house. For example, do you have, Sally, gutter systems on the entire house?SALLY: No. There’s no gutters.TOM: Alright. Well, that would be part of the problem right there; in fact, that might be the entire problem. You need to collect the water at the roof’s edge; you need to run it down downspouts and you need to extend those spouts well away from the foundation perimeter. If you’re going to allow the roof to spill the water right at the side of the house, it’s going to run right back under the house and it’s going to erode a lot of bricks along the way. So you need to get gutters on the house. And once you do that, I think you’re going to see a dramatic difference on the amount of water that’s collecting.LESLIE: And I think if you also look at the grading, it’s possible that somewhere along your property you’ve got, you know, maybe a higher area that’s forcing the water to go right towards your house; so if you can sort of …SALLY: Everything in the area is higher.LESLIE: Yeah, make it so that that is lower and the water will go away from your house.SALLY: Thank you.TOM: Thank you so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.